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The big star of the television upfronts, an ancient artifact of a marketplace where big television networks pre-sell advertising to big advertisers, was… wait for it… ad-supported streaming services. You say you like your ad-free streams, you can keep them. If you want "free" streams, try AVOD (advertising video on demand). Continue Reading →

Is Crypto Dead?

Crypto Crash
For crypto speculators, newbies, and "get rich quick" thrillseekers, last week was tough. The Chinese government re-signaled its displeasure with bitcoin and all things crypto, the IRS announced it is going to do what it can to tax every possible crypto transaction, and Elon tweeted, scaring the hell out of people who pay attention to him. Panic ensued. When it was over, Wednesday's crypto crash vaporized about $1 trillion of market value. The currency may be virtual, but for those who sold at a loss, the losses were real. And while it came back a bit after the crash, this rollercoaster ride is getting even more extreme. Which is why it is no surprise that so many well-respected businesspeople and financial experts chose this past week to declare that crypto is "valueless," or "nutso," or "dead." But think about this... Continue Reading →
There have been rumors about Amazon (and pretty much every other big tech firm) kicking the tires at MGM for quite a while, but Variety is reporting that "Amazon’s interest in acquiring MGM has taken on a new tenor beyond the usual rumor mill. The deal is said to be being orchestrated by Mike Hopkins, senior VP of Amazon Studios and Prime Video, directly with MGM board chairman Kevin Ulrich, whose Anchorage Capital is a major MGM shareholder." Continue Reading →

Internet Computer

Internet Computer (Dfinity)
Dfinity launched Internet Computer last week, and ICP, its cryptocurrency, already has a market cap of over $30 billion. This article is not about the value of owning ICP or how or why you may or may not want to trade crypto. I'm not going to offer any financial advice here. What interests me is how strongly Dfinity's vision aligns with my essay Tales from under the Merkle Tree. In the essay, I ask you to imagine a world powered by decentralized apps (Dapps), where currencies are traded on decentralized exchanges (DEXs), and people transact business on distributed ledgers (aka blockchains). I also suggested that the future I asked you to envision "is literally just months away." I was wrong. It's happening right now. Or is it? Continue Reading →
You'll read a lot today about the $5 million in cryptocurrency that Colonial Pipeline paid to its ransomware hackers. You'll read a lot today about how the FBI discourages ransomware victims from paying their hackers. You'll read a lot today about how fragile and vulnerable our infrastructure is. Pay close attention, and do your best to separate out the facts from the fear-mongering. Continue Reading →
Facebook was quite vocal about its opposition to Apple's ATT (AppTracking Technology). The social media giant feared that its implementation in iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 would significantly damage its Facebook Audience Network business. They were right. Very, very right. Continue Reading →

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